Sixteen years later
Resteir was the greenest land in all of Corafeldon. The forest was thick and dense, and the foliage grew rich and fragrant as far as the eye could see. Until the great drought came, and she watched the grass turn brown and then drift away into dust. She saw the river and lake, dry up and crack like broken clay pots. Listened to the once deafening sound of the tree frogs turn mute as their homes turned to nothing more than overgrown sticks in the dirt.
Resteir was her home and soon it would be nothing more than a desert, empty and barren. It was no wonder her mother was in such a hurry to leave with all the other villagers. Most everyone had already moved on in search of more inhabitable surroundings. Their well was almost dry, crops would no longer grow, and there would be nothing left to sustain them if they stayed.
"Ryhan! Come and help please." Her mother called to her.
She had packed her bag two days before and was impatiently waiting for her mother to finish gathering the things she considered useful for their journey. Where they were going, she was not certain. Her mother had changed her mind about their destination more times, than she could count. Most everyone they knew were heading closer to Breckenshire.
In hopes, that being close to one of the King's cities would offer more opportunity for food and work. There wasn't much point of staying in Resteir. It had become nothing but a wasteland. Ryhan wished that she had some sort of idea where they might end up. It wasn't as if it would really matter, she had never even left her small village. Barely worth the pen stroke on a map, just a small corner of the country where a few hundred villagers decided to settle,
Corafeldon was the largest island of the three main islands that made up Watreon and she had never even seen more than a day's journey of it. Sighing heavily, she shuffled in to the house her father built for her mother when they were first married.
Small did not even begin to describe it. At times, it seemed completely suffocating. Standing off to the side of the room, her mother was staring at one of her most prized possessions. A ten-inch oval mirror hung on the wall, to help ward off evil spirits supposedly. The idea was that the spirits would be so frightened of their own reflection that they would run away and never return.
Ryhan wasn't sure that she believed in such tales, but her mother cleaned it every day, and would often say things like, "Thank goodness for that mirror or those devil faeries would have put out our fire today." or "If that mirror hadn't been there I'd have never gotten rid of that pesky gremlin that's been hanging about."
Mostly, Ryhan and her father would just make a joke or give her a little laugh and move on, but her mother really believed in the power of that mirror. Ryhan walked over to her and placed her arm over her mother's shoulder.
"Are we going to take it with us?" She asked.
"Better not, I couldn't bear to see it broken." Her mother said and hung her head, tears filling her eyes.
She could tell that her mother was reluctant to leave it. They were already carrying so much that she didn't try to convince her to bring it. Catching her reflection in it was always an odd feeling for her, but on that day, something seemed different. Reaching up, she twisted her dark auburn hair back behind her head.
Staring hard at the girl in that other world, she tried to see what it was that had changed. Giving up she let go of her hair and it fell in long waves around her pale and freckled face the way it always did, and her deep blue eyes stared back at her intently. On a good day if the light filtered in to the room just the right way, you could see little flecks of red in the blue color of her eye. It was her favorite thing about her appearance.
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Fated Volition (#Wattys2015)Fantasy
Watreon is on the brink of war. A fact that has eluded Ryhan until days before her sixteenth birthday. Drought has crippled her village and made it nearly impossible to live in. Angry and confused by what their king’s lust for power has done to thei...